Developing for Dynamics GP

by David Musgrave (Perth, WA, Australia) and the Microsoft Dynamics GP Developer Support Team (Fargo, ND, USA)

Menus for Visual Studio Tools for Microsoft Dynamics GP 10.0

Menus for Visual Studio Tools for Microsoft Dynamics GP 10.0

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David MeegoGreat News for Visual Studio developers working with Microsoft Dynamics GP 10.0.

The Issue

As I worked more with the Developer Toolkit and in particular Visual Studio Tools for Microsoft Dynamics GP, I found that the main support issue being seen was that it is not possible to add menu entries into the Microsoft Dynamics GP application navigation system without creating a Dexterity dictionary. This is mentioned in the following Knowledge Base (KB) article:

You cannot insert a menu item that is always visible by using Visual Studio Tools for Microsoft Dynamics GP (KB 922871) Secure Link

While creating a Dexterity dictionary to add the appropriate menus is not that hard for a Dexterity developer, it would mean learning a new set of skills for a Visual Studio developer that doesn't have previous dexterity experience.  It seems rather inefficient to force Visual Studio developers to work in Dexterity, when they had achieved everything else with Visual Studio, just to add some entries in the menus.

If the customization is sufficiently complex that it requires Dexterity code (maybe for procedure/function triggers, table triggers, or for alternate windows) as well as Visual Studio code, then there is no problem adding the navigation code into the existing dictionary.  However, this is not the case for many smaller Visual Studio customizations.

 

The Solution

The long term plan is to provide built-in support for adding to the navigation menus from Visual Studio into the next version of Microsoft Dynamics GP. 

In the meantime, I have created a generic Dexterity dictionary which has an API (Application Programming Interface) which easily allows Visual Studio Tools developers to create their own menus, sub menus and separators directly from C# or VB code. 

After discussions with the development and support teams, it was agreed that this code could be made available to developers to use with their Visual Studio based add-ins for Microsoft Dynamics GP release 10.0.  Due to several fixes and enhancements in Visual Studio Tools for GP 10.0, this menu solution will not be available for GP 9.0. The plan for GP 11.0 onwards is that this functionality will be built into Visual Studio Tools.

[Edit] The menu functionality did not make it into GP 2010 (v11.0) and so an updated version of Menus for Visual Studio Tools will be released for v10.0 and v11.0 soon. Details will be posted on the blog.

We are still working on getting everything ready for release, but it will be made available soon.

 

Downloads

For downloads, please see the Menus for Visual Studio Tools Portal Page:

Menus for Visual Studio Tools Portal

 

Support Information

Technical support for Menus for Visual Studio Tools for Microsoft Dynamics GP can be obtained through the standard Dynamics GP Support channels.  Information on contacting support can be found in the support area of the MSDN Dynamics GP Developer Center.

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics/gp/bb468042.aspx

For customers or partners on a Dynamics specific support plan, please use the following link from CustomerSource or PartnerSource to log a "Visual Studio Tools-Developer Toolkit" case.

https://mbs.microsoft.com/support

 

More Information

For more information, please see the Menus for Visual Studio Tools Portal Page:

Menus for Visual Studio Tools Portal

 

Please add your feedback as comments, will this tool be useful to you?

David

26-Aug-2008: We are looking for beta testers for this utility, if you are interested, please use the email link at the top of the page.

28-Aug-2008: We have enough beta testers for now. You will need to wait a little bit for the actual release now.

25-Sep-2008: Added link to release announcement blog post.

13-Oct-2008: Created post on Using Menus for Visual Studio Tools from VBA.

24-Jun-2009: Added Link to KB Article 922871.

23-Apr-2010: Updated status menu support for Microsoft Dynamics GP 2010 (v11.0).

03-Nov-2010: Added links to related articles.

16-May-2013: Changed More Information Link to go to Menus for Visual Studio Tools Portal Page.

  • I had this problem a couple of months back.

    We had an application that integrated with GP, and had multiple menu items in GP.

    When planning for an upgrade we decided it would be more efficient to migrate the code to C#. Everything worked out fine - except the menu's. We had to write dexterity code and create a chunk file, and all it did was add a menu option that launched the application. Definitely seemed in-efficient, but that was the only way to go. To make things simpler - we decided to move all menu items but the app launcher in .Net application.

  • Awesome! I have seen people struggling with it. This would be very helpful. Look forward to the next post :)

  • Great to heard that this available tools. By the way, GP menu security able to control the menu access for those menu created in VS tools?

  • Hi Richard.

    Great question.

    When you create a menu from VS Tools you have the option to assign a security form to it. The new menu will now have the same security access as that form.

    For example: Assigning the RM_Customer_Maintenance form to a menu will mean that it can only be used if the current user has access to the Customer Maintenance form itself.

    Security can be asign at the time the menu is registered, or afterwards if desired.

    David

  • Posting on VSToolsForum.com

    http://vstoolsforum.com/forums/p/524/1208.aspx#1208

  • 100% needed here.  

    This will be great to have.  Also, you would probably get more of a response if anon comments weren't disabled.

  • This tool would be very helpful.

  • Some great news for Microsoft Visual Studio developers who use Visual Studio Tools to integrate with

  • Dear David,

    This new innovation is really marvelous. I would like to take this opportunity to express my happiness and congratulation to you. The one of main constraints have been removed because of this new feature.

    I hope we will get the LineFill event as well, soon in DTK :-)

    Kind Regards,

    Sajeesh

  • Hi Sajeesh

    The LineFill event was removed from v9.0 as it would not have worked.

    At the time when Dexterity executes the LineFill event, the contents of the scrolling window (grid) are not yet populated.  In Dexterity we have to access the data from the table buffer.  As v9.0 of Visual Studio Tools did not have table buffer support, the LineFill event would not have been of any use.  Because of this it was removed from the v9.0 release.

    When table buffer support was added into v10.0 of Visual Studio Tools, the LineFill event was overlooked and not added back.  Development are aware of this and hopefully will we see it added back soon.

    David

  • I have been involved in the Great Plains world now since 1994. During that time I have become known for

  • Awsome! Being one who does not have time to dive into Dexterity. In just a couple of hours I was able to take all of the scattered menu handlers for our custom .net apps and turn them into a professional and easy to find menu items. Thank You!

  • Please let me know if we can have this in GP 9.0 - menus

  • Hi Triven

    The Menus for Visual Studio Tools has only been released for v10.0.  For v9.0 you will still need to create your own Dexterity dictionary. For v11.0, the plan is to have a different method built into Visual Studio Tools.

    David

  • Posting from Jivtesh Singh

    http://www.jivtesh.com/2009/03/visual-studio-tools-for-dynamics-gp.html

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